The search for an 82-year-old Glencoe man continues, but officials are becoming less optimistic as more time passes and he is not found.
Harvey Caplin was last seen by his wife about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when he walked away from his home near the intersection of Dundee Road and Forestway Drive.
Caplin, who suffers from dementia, was known to go to Starbucks, a local forest preserve, grocery and retail stores (some as far away as Northfield) and the Glencoe Public Library.
Local authorities have conducted a search involving helicopters, snowmobiles and diving teams, but close to 72 hours later, there have been no signs of the man. They have also reached out to hospitals throughout northern Illinois hoping he had been assisted by someone.
“We’re hoping and praying for the best, but if no one picked him up, the chances are not in his favor given the weather we have had,” Glencoe Deputy Police Chief Alan Kebby said.
Village President Larry Levin said Thursday night that the search effort has been coordinated with representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, the Cook County Forest Preserve District and neighboring communities.
“We’ve had hundreds of people conducting a very thorough search,” Levin said.
After Caplin disappeared, Kebby said K-9 units picked up a couple scents on Dundee Road, but the extreme temperatures make those odors unreliable. Police also said they searched the train tracks and his house on Forestway, and sent cell phone alerts to neighbors.
Backyards of neighbors who are out of town for the winter have been checked as a precaution. Public safety officials may also conduct a checkpoint near Dundee Road to ask motorists if they have additional information.
On Thursday, authorities searched the Skokie Lagoon bridge near the Botanic Garden on Dundee Road. There, divers noticed broken ice in waters about five feet deep. Divers did not go into the water, instead using a sonar camera unit. The depths of the lagoons can be more than 30 feet, making the task all that more challenging.
“We searched shore to shore, taking into account currents,” Kebby said.
In addition, there was scheduled to be a snowmobile search on Friday with volunteers expected to come to the area Saturday morning for a foot search of forest preserves.
“These are volunteer professionals,” Kebby notes. “These are people who know to search for people. They are commissioned and accredited. Depending on the weather, we may be assisted by K-9 units, and that is being coordinated by Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Services.”
Yet, despite the resources being pooled, there have not been any signs of Caplin.
“This is probably one of the most exhaustive searches in my 35 years here,” Kebby said.
The Deputy Chief concedes the odds are getting shorter for a good conclusion to the matter.
“From a search and rescue, we’re running out of options,” said Kebby.
Anyone who may have seen Caplin is asked to call Glencoe Police at 847-461-1135.